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McLaughlin closes Supercars title gap

Scott McLaughlin plans to wake up with a hangover today after his first podium finish in the Bathurst 1000.

Thankfully for the Supercars title contender, he'll also find himself in an improved championship position.

The 25-year-old Kiwi ace claimed third at Mount Panorama on Sunday, with nearest title rival Shane van Gisbergen in fifth.

That 18-second gap was enough to close the Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver's lead to just 19 points as the series heads to the Gold Coast to close the Enduro Cup.

"Our goal this weekend was a solid result, and if we could, to narrow the margin," McLaughlin said.

"So overall, good."

McLaughlin has reason to celebrate.

His previous four visits to the 1000-kilometre classic included finishes of 15th, 17th and a hugely disappointing DNF last year after breaking lap records in qualifying.

So a podium is worth a few beers.

"I'm pretty sore at the moment," he said.

"That second last stint, that was intense. I'm mentally pretty drained and pretty sore just from driving the thing around doing mid (2 minute) sixes around here.

"I'll get a little bit sideways ... then chill out and get back into training next week."

One man no longer in the title race is Jamie Whincup.

The six-time champion was hanging on to a manageable gap of around 300 points heading into Bathurst, requiring a strong result to keep realistic hopes alive.

An early tyre blowout and eventual 10th place finish put paid to those dreams, with Whincup now licking his wounds.

"It's a bit of a cruel game and we deserve more than that but that's the game we play," he said.

Whincup at least could celebrate Craig Lowndes - his Red Bull teammate and the man he claimed three Bathursts with - winning the Peter Brock trophy.

"It's fantastic for Triple Eight to get the Peter Brock Trophy back to the workshop again," he said.

"For car one, we thought we deserved a little bit more and it's disappointing not to end up on the podium.

"You honestly couldn't have written that script, with Lowndesy (Craig Lowndes) finishing up full-time driving and winning the biggest race of the year ... it's unbelievable and I couldn't be happier for them."

SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

1. Shane Van Gisbergen (Holden) - 3276 points

2. Scott McLaughlin (Ford) - 3257

3. Jamie Whincup (Holden) - 2872

4. Craig Lowndes (Holden) - 2787

5. David Reynolds (Holden) - 2567

6. Chaz Mostert (Ford) - 2288

7. Fabian Coulthard (Ford) - 2282

8. Rick Kelly (Nissan) - 2242

9. Scott Pye (Holden) - 2182

10. Tim Slade (Holden) - 1970